If your schedule looks anything like mine, then you are busy! Our world is fast paced. We’re booked solid with work, family, and obligations to our church and community. Keeping up takes constant effort and makes finding margin difficult.
A positive first step is recognizing that moments of rest are just as crucial to a healthy life as productivity. Even God the Father took time to rest (Genesis 2:2). So did Jesus (Matthew 14:23). And God’s Word encourages us all to see the value of rest. In Matthew 11:28, Jesus says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
To adequately rest, we must learn how to say no.
Think of a schedule like a buffet line of activities. While each of the options may look appetizing, we can only fill our plate with so many things to do. And once our schedule is full, we cannot add additional activities – including rest – without first removing something.
Worst of all, when our schedule gets too full, things will start to slide off our plates – usually our children, our marriage, and our personal time with Jesus.
We don’t want to say no for several reasons:
• We don’t want to disappoint people.
• We feel guilty.
• We don’t want to be seen as limited or weak.
• We don’t want to be left out.
The truth is, we say no all the time. Every time you say yes to one thing, you are automatically saying no to something else. The goal is to learn to say no with purpose and intentionality. A healthy schedule isn’t about declining good opportunities or limiting yourself. It’s about making wise choices and saying yes to the things that matter most.
On our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Learning to Say No,” Kevin Harney is with us to share how to simplify your life by cutting out distractions and making wise choices. Listen to our full conversation on your local radio station, online, on Apple Podcasts, via Google Podcasts, or on our free phone app.
Kevin is the founder of Organic Outreach International. He also serves as the Lead Pastor at Shoreline Church in Monterey, California. He’s no stranger to a busy life, but he’s learned how to prioritize the important things, and he’s captured those insights in his book No is a Beautiful Word: Hope and Help for the Overcommitted and [Occasionally] Exhausted. It’s available for a gift of any amount. Visit our website or give us a call at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459). If you can’t afford it, we’ll find a way to get it to you.